Read the full interview on TheSource.com!
Mike Jones! Who?? Hailing from Houston and forever putting on for his city, the Swishahouse rapper has come a long way from working at Jack In The Box to now being a certified legend in the rap game. Lil Uzi Vert even went on record stating how much Mike Jones influenced his artistry.
The amount of hits under Mike Jones’ belt alone deserves its flowers, from his debut single “Still Tippin” featuring Slim Thug and Paul Wall to “Back Then” to “Flossin’.” Regardless, his lyrics are directly inspired by real-life experiences, such as dropping “Drop & Gimme 50” around the time he lost 100 pounds.
Beyond the music, it’s Mike Jones’ mindset and positive thinking that fans resonate with most. Anyone following Mike’s journey knows that he’s been through it when it comes to the business side of the music industry, fighting for years to retrieve the royalties to his songs.
The Source caught up with Mike Jones via Instagram Live, for our first ever Hip-Hop Convos series. Read below as we discuss Mike Jones recent coverage in the news about not clearing a sample for a 1017 artist named BiC Fizzle, his deal with Buffalo Wild Wings, Charlemagne shouting him out, and more!
Happy Wednesday, how you doing?
Been blessed, everybody been excited about this interview. I’m excited. I’m happy that you leveled up and got with The Source, because The Source been the source. They always been the source to everything. Music, Hip-Hop, everything. I’ve been rocking with The Source since I came into the game for real. The Source was the magazine, everybody and their mama wanted to be on The Source. RIP Big Poppa: “Smiles every time my face is up in The Source.”
Definitely want to start out by talking about Buffalo Wild Wings using your song “Sauce.”
You know what’s crazy? That was a record we did and a lot of people overlooked it, but we stayed down with it. Buffalo Wild Wings came into the play and said, “Hey, we want that record. We want it for what we doing.” Now, the record has really grown to other levels. It opened us up and showed us how we can really boss up on sync licensing. We don’t have to just put out an EP or LP, we can really change our mindset on how we do business.
Do you remember when you made the song? How long ago was that?
We made the song 2016/2017.
It got picked up five years later? That’s crazy.
What’s crazy, I sat down with Ghazi from EMPIRE and let him hear the record. I let a lot of people hear it, and they didn’t see what I saw. So I had to keep the record in my backpack, and here we go. A billion dollar plus company comes in and says “hey, we want to use this record.” It changed the whole trajectory for us.
How do you do the sync licensing deals?
For one, you got to own the music. A lot of your favorite artists don’t own the music, so that money goes to the boss. The CEO, and the CEO never wants to talk about it. I’m an artist/CEO. I came into the game this way so it’s only right that I educate my artists/CEOs to understand this type of money you could be making from doing this type of stuff. They don’t own the record, we own it. We still getting publishing and royalties, yet they’re sync licensing and using it on a big scale like NFL. Merging it with players like Sauce Gardner, #1 draft pick for the New York Jets. It’s showing us that we all got the sauce, we just had to merge it with the right sauce.
What was your mentality as Mike Jones when you created it in 2016?
The feeling I felt then, I’m justified for it now. Because I felt good when I made it, I got the sauce. Because since I came into the game to now, I’m still holding it down. I’m still here. I’m not faded away, I’m still in the know. Whether somebody’s trying to sample my song, or rather somebody trying to reuse my new song, I’m still here. For Buffalo Wild Wings to come years later, and place it right there into the centerpoint of all commercials and TV, and then merging with other places, it just let us know music has no date.
Someone said, arguably one of the hardest debut albums of all time. Shout out Mike Jones.
Thank you, I appreciate y’all. I appreciate the people at the time for really listening to real music. Real pain. I wasn’t trying to be something I wasn’t, I was trying to let y’all know what’s going on. Most times in order for you to go somewhere and get put on, you gotta give up something. You always gotta give up something in order to get something, and that’s one thing that we don’t have to do with this sync licensing thing.
It’s very important if you own your own stuff, you go viral on TikTok and people want to use your stuff, you can still do a sync licensing deal to where you still own the publishing and royalties. You don’t gotta sell it off for no chump change, and somebody else comes and does a sync licensing on you and you don’t know nothing about it.
So what exactly happened with BiC Fizzle? You wouldn’t clear his sample?
It ain’t nothing bad, it’s just you gotta learn the business. Once you become an owner of something and people will want to sample your stuff, it’s a proper procedure of business that has to go down. Once that business goes down, you get the access gate to keep going. If everything starts off good but the business stops at the end, you’re not going to be able to access through. Even if you still put it out already without finishing the proper inside details, it’ll still be abruptly taken down — which it was. I can show you proof of this stuff going on over a year ago. It didn’t just happen yesterday or last week, we’ve been waiting. People put it out anyways, then all of a sudden it gets taken down and people get upset. That’s what happened.
Were you initially down to clear it?
We heard the record, we were down. But they didn’t finish the business, you follow me? Yeah, I’ma get you to host this. I’ma get you to do this, but never paid for your flights. I’ll never finish off this, so how can we still..? Were you initially gon’ go? Yeah! But we still had to finalize this this and this. Everybody ran off the deep end without finalizing everything.
Evidently for it to almost get to a million, we sat back and watched to see what’s going on. Okay, y’all steady running, whatever. Then you see right behind that another person comes in and clears it, and does the business the correct way. Because if you look at it, they both was trying to get the record cleared last year! I’ll show the emails, both was back in April/May of last year. 2022. So why it took this long?
We was the ones patient. The difference is one of them put it out, one of them held off. Okay, we still haven’t got back to him in months, but we ain’t put it out. We ain’t gon disrespect him, we gon’ get our stuff together. Everything clean, money passed, everything good? Boom, there we go. That’s respected. I’m not finna buy no pity cry from somebody if you’re not finishing the business. Y’all know what you said you was gon’ do, but you didn’t do it. How you gonna hold me in contempt, behind something you were already supposed to finish? Respectfully.
How did you feel when he posted that on his story and called you broke?
I laughed about it. Because you seen what I posted: Warner Brothers royalties. So all that is not true at all, because I’m an artist who gets publishing and royalties on a quarterly basis. That is not who he’s talking about when he said my name. He’s speaking out of not knowing the game, and a lack of knowledge. You gotta understand the business, I’m trying to put y’all on game.
Did you feel any type of way about SayCheese and Akademiks covering that?
I thought they was better than that. You know why? Because they want to teach Hip-Hop artists so much about what they don’t know. But yet instead you gon’ take something you know is not true, or you could’ve got to the bottom of the truth, and you took it because it was for clickbait. It had a celebrity name attached to it and you threw it out there. Good journalism: even if I hear something, hey let me check and see what’s going on.
Hey boy, you want to rebuttal this? Somebody said you broke, you want..? I appreciate you coming at me before you just blasting with that. Here are the facts. Oh damn, they’ve been talking about this for over a year now. Yeah, we’ve been waiting! We didn’t get no treatment. Then why did they put it out on YouTube? I don’t know! We didn’t say nothing when they did that. So to get on there and say we’re almost at a million, and we were hating and took it down — y’all were supposed to get the business right, and y’all could get to three million! What we doing? That’s all I’m saying.
How’d it feel to see Charlamagne shout you out recently?
Man, that was love. The times we’re in right now, social media really got people to where they can’t stand up on 10, even in rejection phase. That’s all I had to do back in my day, all I could do was stand on 10. A person told me they weren’t feeling me, I was too chubby, I wasn’t finna go kill them. I wasn’t on that mindset back then, plus we didn’t have social media to really add on what was going on. I’m like man, rejection sucks. I had to come up with a way to where I don’t go through these feelings anymore. So I bossed him, like Charlemagne said. For him to mention him, it’s respect. I didn’t pay him, I didn’t ask him. It’s the love, because that’s really what I did.